Lynx girls collect third straight win at Wildcats’ expense

WCHS races out to 19-point lead after one quarter; McKinney pours in 27 points

Webster City’s Jenna Miller (40) eyes the basket while battling through a double team against Humboldt last night inside the WCHS gymnasium. DFJ photo/Tracy Queen

WEBSTER CITY — When you get a taste of success, you want more. And more. And more.

Right now, the Webster City girls’ basketball team can’t stop feeding.

Behind a ferocious first quarter and an aggressive defensive effort over four quarters, the Lynx buried Humboldt, 54-35, in a North Central Conference clash last night inside the WCHS gymnasium.

Winners of three consecutive games, the Lynx (6-6, 3-4 NCC) raced out to a 23-4 lead after the opening eight minutes and never allowed Humboldt (7-6, 2-5 NCC) to sneak back into contention over the final 24 minutes of play.

Yes, the offense led by Taylor McKinney was stellar once again. But WCHS head coach Nicole Muhlenbruch said her team’s success against the Wildcats began at the other end of the court.

Webster City senior Taylor McKinney (4) scores two of her game-high 27 points during last night’s 54-35 victory over North Central Conference rival Humboldt inside the WCHS gym. DFJ photo/Tracy Queen

“Those kids are working their butts off on defense and it’s creating things for the offense,” she said. “The offense gets the credit for what they did on the defensive end.”

WCHS hounded Humboldt on the perimeter and forced 16 turnovers in the game, 10 of them on steals that led to breakouts towards the other end. Kelly Stoakes had four of the thefts and McKinney came up with three.

Just like she did in Tuesday’s blowout win over Manson-Northwest Webster, McKinney came out on fire. The senior guard buried three first-quarter 3-pointers and also attacked the Wildcats off the dribble.

McKinney followed up Tuesday’s 29-point effort with 27 more against Humboldt, the 10th 25-plus point performance of her career.

“In the first quarter it was Taylor, and she was driving to the bucket really well,” Muhlenbruch said. “When she’s attacking the basket, it’s making the defense question if they should come out on her or not.”

Grace Hoversten and Adalie Schwandt controlled the paint for the Lynx and finished with eight points each. Hoversten also corralled 10 rebounds and Schwandt yanked down five more.

Stoakes pitched in five points.

Mady Lange led Humboldt with 12 points and Jori Hajek added eight more.

WCHS led 33-15 at the half. Humboldt pulled within 13 points after three quarters, but an 11-5 spurt by the Lynx over the final eight minutes sealed the victory.

So what has changed for WCHS over the last week? Muhlenbruch says it’s all about confidence, as well as belief in themselves and each other.

“When you win you have that confidence and a little extra pep in your step,” she said. “The girls are taking care of each other better on the court now.”

Up next is a test at home against Algona on Tuesday. The Bulldogs rallied from a large deficit to stun the Lynx in overtime when they met in Algona in December.

Webster City 54, Humboldt 35

Thursday at Webster City

Humboldt (7-6, 2-5 NCC) — Jori Hajek 2 4-6 8, Joie Smith 0 0-0 0, Bae Arnold 0 0-0 0, Jayda Hoeffer 1 0-0 3, Mady Lange 6 0-0 12, Emily Knight 0 0-0 0, Emily Zaugg 0 0-0 0, Frances Carlson 0 0-0 0, Marissa Kaufman 0 0-0 0, Lily Groat 2 2-3 6, Kendal Clark 3 0-3 6. Totals: 14 6-12 35.

Webster City (6-6, 3-4 NCC) — Tatum Goings 0 0-0 0, Taylor McKinney 10 3-4 27, Kelly Stoakes 2 0-0 5, Kayley Wibholm 0 0-0 0, Shelby Queen 0 0-0 0, Leah Kasch 2 0-0 4, Shaylee Gordon 0 0-0 0, Morgan Gallentine 0 0-0 0, Kaylyn Anderson 0 0-0 0, Grace Hoversten 3 2-2 8, Jenna Miller 1 0-1 2, Adalie Schwandt 3 2-4 8. Totals: 21 7-11 54.

Humboldt 4 11 15 5 — 35

Web City 23 10 10 11 — 54

3-point field goals — WC 5 (McKinney 4, Stoakes); HUM 1 (Hoeffer). Rebounds — WC 28 (Hoversten 10, Schwandt 5). Steals — WC 10 (Stoakes 4, McKinney 3). Assists — WC 3. Turnovers — WC 10. Team fouls — HUM 11, WC 12. Fouled out — HUM: Arnold.